"On balance, we are doing pretty well," Hayden told the newspaper this week citing major gains against Osama bin Laden's network and its allies. "Near strategic defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq.
TPJ: Bush, McCain and other supporters of the occupation in Iraq have constantly said over the years that when the Iraqis stand up then we will stand down. Well, according to even the Bushies they are standing up as seen in the battle for Sadr City. We toppled Saddam, found no WMD, established a democracy, nearly defeated al-Qaeda but more importantly convinced the Sunni that al-Qaeda isn't their friend and that they were using the Sunni insurgency to attempt taking over Iraq.
The Sunni and other Iraqis are now defending their country from al-Qaeda. Iraq is a proud country and while they have spats amongst themselves, they will not allow al-Qaeda to take over their land. It's not unlike a family that fight each other at times but unite to defend the family against an outside force.
We should pull our troops out of Iraq to focus even more on Afghanistan if indeed al-Qaeda has nearly been totally defeated in Iraq and is on the defensive in much of the world. If they are weaker now in Afghanistan then transferring many of the troops in Iraq should put even more pressure on al-Qaeda in that region.
It seems that the only reason that we are still there is to stick to this stubborn idea that we can mold Iraq into the same style of democracy that we have here in America which is impossible and impractical to expect. Each democracy in the world has its own style. It's ridiculous to assume that Jeffersonian democracy is right for all countries and cultures.
There are many countries in the world and in the Middle East especially that are quite stable and receptive to the west who are not a Jeffersonian democracy. Jordan is a type of monarchy and they have been quite co-operative with "freedom loving nations" to use a rusty, blunt Bushy phrase. Kuwait is another example of the possibility to be a friendly state without a democracy. And last but not least in the Bush world, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who are of course quite strict with Islamic law and monarch rule but they are still close allies with America and the west.
So again I ask, "If Iraq is going so well then why don't we leave like Obama is saying we should?"
And if it still isn't going so well the question remains the same, "Why are we staying?" In other words, if they haven't figured out their issues to exactly the degree that we want them to then can we really expect that they won't somehow figure it out without us there? It's not like our presence has exactly persuaded them to make much political progress. In addition, our military is not a diplomatic institution that knows the nuances of political policy, nor should they be a political wing of the government.
At some point we have to let go of the training wheels, let them learn how to ride the bike so to speak, make their own mistakes and learn to fix them themselves. We went through a horrible civil war that nearly ripped out country in two but after a bloody, costly fight we brought it back together. No one fought the battle for us and we are the better for it. We went through some growing pains but because we did it on our own we learned self-reliance and the art of what it takes to run a unified country.
We can't stay until they don't have any problems, which will never happen. No country or government is ever fully functioning or perfect. Every country goes through their civil wars and periods of upheaval. We can't just go around and occupy every country that is in the middle of strife or isn't the kind of Democracy that we recognize as the "ideal."
Either way you look at it--it's time to leave Iraq.
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